Limewash Fireplace Transformation

My family bought our 1980s Williamsburg-style home, in Peachtree Corners, GA, in 2006. The home is tucked near a nice little cul-de-sac, deep in a subdivision full of 1980s Williamsburg-style homes. The homes are not too varied, interesting, or exciting, but do we love our home, our yard, and our neighborhood. The previous owners, who were the original owners, had made some quality upgrades to the house over the years. We have enjoyed continuing with numerous renovations ourselves.


One update we made a few years ago was kind of a big leap for me. It wasn’t a huge project, but was definitely a commitment. We limewashed the brick fireplace surround. When it comes to painting brick, there’s no going back…you can’t really “unpaint” brick. I’ve always felt that brick and wood are some kind of Sacred — you just can’t paint them on a whim! I realize many people feel this way. …but many don’t!

To my eye, the brick in our family room was a drab color, and while the surrounding oak bookcases were a great quality and of nice workmanship, I was tired of the heavy, honey-colored oak. That whole end of the room was dark.

This is from 2016, before we limewashed fireplace surround and painted the woodwork. Even with the inset lighting, that end of the room was dark and kind of blah. The wood and brick colors blended too much.

I looked into adding a fresh, current tile over the brick to update it, but after looking at pricing and logistics, we decided to try the limewash (since it’s inexpensive), and if we hated that, we could reconsider the work and expense of adding tile.

I was inspired by a few photos I found after Googling “painted brick fireplace” and settled on the limewash effect. We went with Romabio Avorio White Limewash Interior/Exterior Paint, which was in stock at Home Depot. I liked the limewash because it wasn’t going to completely cover the tones of the brick. Limewash paint gives a unique “whitewash” effect. The product we chose is a one-coat process, no priming required. That’s what sealed the whole deal for me.  According to the Romabio website this product is toxin free and environmentally friendly. Romabio Limewash is mineral-based and is derived from sustainable materials. . . . Bonus! And we were thrilled with the results!

The limewash process gives an old-world, antiqued/weathered look. Some of the brick color remains exposed, which results in a warmth you just wouldn’t have with a painted brick.

Here is a terrific sampling of the Romabio Limewash colors, found at brick&batten.com.

We decided to keep the oak mantle in place, as is, as it compliments our oak floors, and has a nice, neutral style.  So after taping off the edges by the mantle, bookcases, floor, and ceiling, we were ready to experiment.

The application was very easy. We went with the recommended 50% dilution (see chart below; the .67-gallon can was plenty for our fireplace surround). Before applying the limewash, we misted a 3’x3′ area of the brick with a spraybottle of water. Once the brick was damp, we used a paintbrush to apply the wash. It soaks right in!

Keep your brick damp with water as you apply the limewash.

We adjusted the look by applying plenty of the product and then washing off in random areas, so the brick color would peek through. We were able to balance out the intensity with some vigorous buffing, and there was lots of stepping back to observe, adding or removing the wash, and more observing after that!


This was at the end of the first day. We did remove a little more the next day, as it was a little more opaque than we wanted.

Removal is possible for up to two days after the initial application — very forgiving. This product can be re-applied to add color depth, even past the two-day removal limit. Since the finish is flat, touchups are undetectable. Nota Bene: the product dries more opaque and it looks “thicker” or “darker” when dry than when it’s wet. We ended up removing quite a bit over the next couple of hours, adjusting the amount of brick color and the “location” or “pattern” of the red that showed through.

Romabio Classico Limewash dilution recommendations


1L/1QT.2.5L/0.67GAL15L/4GAL
50%500ml1.25L7.5L
70%700ml1.75L10.5L

After the wonderful transformation with the limewashed  masonry, we decided to go ahead and have the woodwork painted to coordinate with the wall color, Silver Strand (7057, Sherwin Williams). The paint colors we used are: bookcases “Attitude Gray” (7060); wainscoting “Unusual Gray” (7059); all Sherwin Williams colors. 

‘White Rose Trio’ over mantle, by Tatyana Klevenskiy

This update truly brightened this part of my home. Adding the limewash to the fireplace surround and then painting the woodwork gave everything a fresher, cleaner, more updated feel. I just love it!

Gone Thrifting!

[For “1969 Poodle Wall Plaque” giveaway, see end of post and leave a comment!]

Do you ever go “thrifting”? The phrase is trending, but the act itself has been around for decades. As a teenager (early 1980s), I loved heading to Little 5 Points, in Atlanta, to visit the vintage clothes stores (Stefan’s, Junkman’s Daughter) and then head over to the AMVETS thrift store on Moreland Avenue, for hours of perusing. I scored all kinds of wonderful, magical things in those shops…clothes, of course, but also jewelry (they don’t make ‘em like they used to!!) shoes, purses, scarves, gloves, and at AMVETS they sold household items as well — I got some fantastic blown glass vases and some glasses, framed art, all the fun stuff! I still have a lot of the things I bought. Some are put away in boxes, but some are out, about my home, and I enjoy them every day! 

Currently I frequent just two thrift shops in the Atlanta area, City Thrift in Lilburn, GA and the Goodwill near my home in Peachtree Corners.  I have scored some SERIOUS loot at these places! I want to share some of the amazing finds I’ve had recently, and how I’ve upcycled some of the items. I also want to note how appreciative I am that people are willing to take the time to donate items they no longer need.

Visiting a thrift shop can be overwhelming, so I have a few tips to share for folks who are interested.

Tip 1 — Visit often, keep it short.

I found that if I visit the shop often, say — once a week, and stay for about 30 minutes, I tend to be able to spot great stuff easily. Some items will stay on the shelves for weeks, so if you visit regularly you will stop noticing the things that don’t interest you and be able to recognize the new inventory. Taking in everything on the shelves or racks can be overwhelming. Thirty minutes is about the maximum time I can focus while thrifting, too.

Tip 2 — Focus on one or two departments per trip.

This is related to my first tip: One thrifting trip might be a visit down all the “home goods” aisles — kitchen items, home decor, small appliances, and outdoor decor such as flower pots and garden items. In another visit, focus on shoes, handbags, belts, hats/scarves, and jewelry. Or focus on looking at just jackets and sweaters. My brain gets foggy when I try to take on much more than that. I do admit, I always head straight to the small appliances, though, every single visit. I am obsessed with finding espresso machines — I’ve found three so far (gifted them to two of my sons)!

Tip 3 — Fuel yourself!

Make sure you aren’t hungry, thirsty, or in need of a bathroom visit. Sorta ruins the fun otherwise…

Tip 4 — Keep your eye out for the unusual, and keep an open mind!

Most everything is cheap in a thrift store. If something really catches my eye, I will buy it even if I don’t want to keep it “forever”. As my sister-in-law once said, “Think of it as a rental program! Buy it, enjoy it a while, then re-donate it!” That actually makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve always been of the mindset that, when I buy something, I’m going to always have it, and I’d better make the best use of what I have. I do that to a degree, but thrift shop items are low cost, and it can be fun to buy something a little outside my comfort zone or my taste, and get creative with it! Upcyling (refashioning something thought to be useless into something of greater value) can be delightful and rewarding, too!

Tip 5 — Prepare for AMAZING finds!

Read on to see the fantastical stuff I’ve found while thrifting!


This Italian-made espresso machine retails for $200+ and it was new, in-box when I spotted it at City Thrift! My BEST buy ever!!

Unique Barware

George Briard Mid-Century cocktail glasses, on eBay for $50+, and have real gold detail. Festive at the holidays!
Another set of fun holiday glassware!

More kitchen and housewares

This German dessert set looked as if it was never used! It was one of my pricier purchases, $50. It’s so much fun to use in when friends are over. I love the curve of the coffee pot, and the sassy style of the cream and sugar set!
Some 99-cent items, and how I use them.
These square vases caught my teen’s eye. He used them to create a vignette of succulent plants for his nightstand.
This wicker trunk is from Bombay Company. It matches my decor perfectly!
I found these frames on different visits at City Thrift. I like to look for unusual shaped frames, and especially tiny frames! These are pics of me with each of my sons:)

Fun Apparel


Unicorn Thrifting Find — A 3-D Printer

This 3-D Printer had just been rolled out onto the floor when my son and I walked in to Goodwill, in late 2019. We already had a 3-D printer but this one had additional features and was half retail price (it came with original receipt from Amazon!). It took the guys a little work to get it going, but now they use it for most of their 3-D projects.

Upcycling

I love these medallions, but decided to upcyle them to fit with my bedroom decor. I do love using the chalk paint!

This mirror was on its way to the thrift store from my dad’s garage. The frame is plastic, so I decided to try chalk paint on it!
In its finished space, it looks like a fine wood-carved frame! I love it!


Do you enjoy thrifting? Have you had fun and success, upcyling? I’d love to read about your experiences. Please share in the comments!

***If you’d like to enter my Thrifted Giveaway, (randomly chosen 4/30/21) to become the lucky owner of this adorable pair of 1969 Miller Studios Poodle Wall Plaques, please leave a comment below!***

These plaques measure approximately 6″ x 9″ and are painted plaster, 1969/1970 Miller Studios originals. Similar here!

PANTONE Color of the Year = Springtime

PANTONE Color System is best known for its PMS (Pantone Matching System). This color matching system is used internationally among designers in graphic, interior, and product design, and printing. The system is used to assure that colors are accurate when products go into production regardless of the various equipment used, whether by professional designers or amateur artists.


Starting in 2000, PANTONE assigns a Color of the Year annually, to provide a cohesiveness across design industries. Complimenting lifestyles with color, they declare, “has always been an integral part of how a culture expresses the attitudes and emotions of the times.” All design industries immediately engaged in this approach and this resulted in a unified theme across genres of design, connecting color ideas in clothing, to interiors, to products and even printed materials.

When PANTONE announced its 2021 Color of the Year, they looked ahead, past the tumultuous condition of our lives over the last 12 months and offered an inspiring approach to 2021.


Last year’s color, Classic Blue (PANTONE 14-4052), offered peacefulness with a sense of elegance. Announced well before we were all sequestered by the pandemic, PANTONE still saw the need for “reassurance, confidence and connection that people may be searching for in an uncertain global milieu.” As the year unfolded, PANTONE executive director Leatrise Eiseman suggested how appropriate the themes of “tranquility,” “clarity,” and “restfulness” continued to be, and encouraged incorporating them into our lives through the Classic Blue color.


Looking ahead to 2021, this year offers much promise to many.  In presenting two independent colors, Illuminating Yellow (PANTONE 13-0647) and Ultimate Gray (PANTONE 17-5104), PANTONE hopes to encourage “people to look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity, and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality.”

“PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colors of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.” PANTONE announcing 2021 Color of the Year


Even though the Color of the Year was announced in December 2020, the nature of the colors selected lend themselves to Springtime decorating! I’ve collected some images that may inspire you to incorporate these colors into your home decor. No need to change your whole design theme, just add these colors as you are inspired! When used as accents, they are harmonious with most palettes. For 2021, PANTONE offers “A marriage of color conveying a message of strength and hopefulness that is both enduring and uplifting.”

Let’s hear it for resilience and power!